Bhai Kahn Singh was a celebrated scholar and encyclopaedist, born on August 30 1861 in a Dhillon Jatt family at the village of Sabaz Banera, in what then used to be the territory of the princely ruler of patiala. His father was Narain Singh and mother Har Kaur. Narain Singh was a man of saintly character and he succeeded to the charge of Gurdwara Dera Baba Ajapal Singh, at Nabha, after the death of his grandfather Sarup Singh in 1861. Kahn Singh was the eldest of three brothers and one sister. He did not attend any school or college for formal education, yet he mastered several branches of learning by his own effort. By the age of Ten he could recite freely both the Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth. He read Sanskrit classics with Pundits in and around Nabha and learnt music from a famous Mahant Gajja singh. He sought Maulawis in Delhi to teach him Persian. In 1883 he went to Lahore where during his two-year stay he studied Persian texts and assisted Professor Gurmukh Singh, a leading figure in the Singh Sabha, in the publication of his Sudhararak. In 1887 he was appointed tutor to Tikka Ripudaman Singh, the heir apparent of Nabha state.